How Can I Stay Safe During Child-Exchanges with My Ex?
The separation of a family unit can become an extremely contentious period. This contention may subside over time, however, in some cases the emotional aspect returns every time children are exchanged to satisfy the timesharing plan. If you and your former partner are unable to maintain a healthy and safe environment during the transfer of custody of your children you may need to implement certain safeguards to facilitate this transition. Discuss the concerns regarding a safe exchange plan for the children and yourself with your Orlando Child Custody Attorney.
Your Orlando Child Custody Attorney will be able to discuss some options implemented by other coparents as well as the options the state of Florida has provided to separated parents. The most common tactic implemented by parents is to exchange children in a public place. Rather than exchanging at a parent’s home, coming to a neutral and public place provides for a balanced environment. Further, it also places more eyes on you and likely will discourage the impulse to argue, as you have many third party individuals surrounding you. Some families will meet at public parks to allow the child to have the distraction of play time while one parent leaves, this takes some of the difficult emotional separation anxiety away from the child. Some families attempt to meet at a restaurant to have a meal as a family for the child. However, if neither of these options work for your specific situation, Florida has also labeled certain areas as Safe Exchange Zones. These designated areas are well lit and commonly in close vicinity to a local police department. Involvement of law enforcement is never a desire of parents, however, having them within such close proximity can provide a parent with a calming sense to facilitate a safe exchange.
If you and your coparent are unable to facilitate an exchange amongst each other, some parents require a third party to facilitate the exchanges. Babysitters or family members are common third parties used. However, it is important to find a neutral third party. This party should also not discuss parenting issues or begin any combative conversations with a parent. An individual who will simply facilitate the exchange in a calm manner is ideal. Similarly, parents coordinate the transfer of a child to occur after a school day. Both of these options allow for the parents to never have to come in contact. However, this may cause some distance between the parents who still need to have communication in order to properly co parent the minor children.
Contentious relationships between co parents result in difficulties in many areas of the child’s life, including the simple task of a custody exchange. However, these arrangements cannot be avoided and the parents must formulate a plan to facilitate a positive, safe and healthy exchange. If you and your former partner cannot agree to a specific exchange, the court may need to appoint a designated third party or order a certain location for the exchange. Your Orlando Child Custody Attorney can help you to locate these areas, and also seek modifications to your time-sharing or custody agreements if the situation calls for a change. Discuss these options with your Orlando Child Custody Attorney to see what arrangement best suits your families’ needs and offers the protection necessary to facilitate a safe exchange.
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